Out : February 2, 2024
Enveloped in a melodic and progressive soundscape of 11 brand new compositions, “Elysian Citadel” showcases Pete Rafael’s talent as a guitarist and composer. The up and coming artist unleashed recently his debut work, an awe striking instrumental work that should not and won’t go unnoticed.
It’s quite invigorating to be able to enjoy forty plus minutes of almost, pure instrumental work, without getting bored because the ideas are keep getting recycled. “Elysian Citadel”, and mind you it’s only a debut, gets the listener hooked from the very first minutes, from the very first melodic lines and intricate riffs that are offered in the “Fortress Of Time”.
And talking about the “Fortress of Time”, the album commences with an excellent song that not only introduces the audience to Pete Rafael’s sound, but it makes the best first impressions that one could ask. With a sound that I thought of describing it as heavy-metal-Muse, “Fortress of Time” begins and takes us on a progressive metal journey, complex yet always delightful.
The “Elysion Citadel” is built on two axes: one being the melody, with Pete Rafael paying extra attention writing those hooking melodic lines and two, the progressive influences that compromise the album’s core. The song “Cosmic Traveller” captures this musical duality, with its Dream Theater inspired riffs and the melodic, Euro-power metal lines. After all, when progressive metal meets melody it is appropriate to anticipate some power metal influences.
And when power metal enters the compositional grounds, the epic tone follows accordingly. So, songs like the “Flames of Ares”, “Elysian Citadel” and the closing “The Warrior Within”, are prime and best examples of this epic, musical narrative that comes powerful progressive riffs, neo-classical ideas and a fiery, power metal dynamic.
Quite interesting and a very nice addition to the album is the song “Ecstasy of Love”, that not only comes with an exceptional vocal performance, but, also, breaks the set pattern, with a sound heavily inspired by the ‘80s and the hard rock/glam scene.
All in all, and without a speck of doubt the “Elysian Citadel” is an album that you absolutely must check out. Pete Rafael’s unleashes an exciting and almost spotless work that will undoubtedly form a fanbase.
Album - 10/10
Cover Art - 8/10
Musical Progression - 9/10